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Proposed lease accounting standards to cost 190,000 American jobs

Study shows the negative impact on job creation, health of the U.S. real estate sector, and liabilities of U.S. publicly traded companies

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A coalition of several leading nonprofit and commercial organizations, including the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, released a report that examines the economic impact of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) proposed lease accounting standard today. The study, “The Economic Impact of the current IASB and FASB Exposure Draft on Leases,” specifically looks at how the proposed standard would negatively impact job creation, the health of the U.S. real estate sector, and liabilities of U.S. publicly traded companies.

The report analyzes the current proposal and under a best case scenario estimated its economic impacts as:

· Increasing liabilities for U.S. public companies by $1.5 trillion;

· Increasing costs to U.S. public companies by $10.2 billion annually;

· Potentially leading to job losses of more than 190,000;

· Reducing U.S. household earnings by $7.8 billion annually;

· Lowering U.S. GDP by $27.5 billion each year annually.

The coalition is calling on the boards to conduct a comprehensive examination of the costs and benefits should be a part of that process.

“A failure to fully understand the economic ramifications of these accounting changes or to address these issues may harm businesses that own, invest, or rent commercial real estate or use leases for other purposes from office equipment to construction machinery,” said BOMA International Chair Boyd R. Zoccola, who is also executive vice president of Hokanson Companies Inc.

“Thoroughly vetted and sound accounting standards are needed to create certainty in the marketplace for investors and businesses alike. A comprehensive examination of the costs and benefits should be a part of that process.”

The report was commissioned by several of the leading nonprofit and commercial organizations concerned with economic growth in the United States and in the health of the real estate sector in particular.

The members of the coalition include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Real Estate Roundtable, NAIOP, Commercial Real Estate Development Association, NAIOP Inland Empire Chapter, NAIOP Southern California Chapter, the National Association of Realtors and the Building Owners and Managers Association International.

The coalition's objective in sponsoring the study is to ensure that the analysis of costs and benefits of proposed new accounting standards for leases includes a thorough consideration of the economics of commercial and industrial real estate leasing and development, so that changes to financial reporting do not distort market behavior and cause damage to both the real estate market and the national economy.

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